Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Former Kentucky coach Joe B. Hall will be on the Dominican sideline for an Aug. 15 tilt against a team of Kentucky pros at Rupp Arena.
But he won’t get to coach the pro team that will include a Rajon Rondo/John Wall backcourt as he had originally hoped.
Kentucky and Dominican head coach John Calipari initially invited the 82-year-old Hall to coach the pros in the first-of-its-kind event, but the NCAA but the kibosh on it.
“I thank Cal for all he’s done for me,” Hall said on WHAS-840 on Friday night according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.
“You know how I feel about the Kentucky program. I wouldn’t do anything to hurt the university. If there was a reason I shouldn’t be involved, let somebody tell me. That’s all I ask. Who was it and what entity said I couldn’t do this? That’s all I want to know. I’m going to try to get to the bottom of it.”
The #FreeJoeB movement is already afoot.
Technically, Kentucky can’t have any official affiliation with the event even though Kentucky alums are in the game, Calipari is coaching the Dominicans, the Dominican team features Kentucky senior Eloy Vargas and the game is at Rupp.
Kentucky basketball spokesman DeWayne Peevy said by email he had been been “hired privately to handle the media for the event.” He is working for a company called ProCamps Worldwide.
“The University of Kentucky is not involved in the production of this event,” reads the press release Peevy sent out.
Crazy stuff, really.
According to Kentucky Sports Radio, Calipari also announced that he has spoken with Wall, Rondo and Eric Bledsoe about returning to campus if the NBA lockout lasts into the fall semester.
They could then serve as student assistant coaches, mentoring young players like incoming point guard Marquis Teague and St. Patrick wing Michael Gilchrist.
Think that will benefit those young guys?
Just a little.
**Kentucky pro team to face Dominicans
**Calipari could have recruiting edge with Dominicans**Calipari to coach Dominicans
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.